Ravi Bopara is the winner of this week’s Cricket World County Player of the Week award. He was the only man to reach three figures twice last week, with scores of 120 not out and 174 against Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire respectively.
His unbeaten knock of 120 came from only 100 balls in front of the Sky Sports cameras at Chelmsford and helped Essex to easily chase down the Gladiators’ total of 224 for five with 19 balls to spare in the Clydesdale Bank 40; while his innings at Wantage Road helped his side recover from 57 for four to post 400 for six declared in their first innings in the LV= County Championship.
He shared a fifth-wicket stand of 294 – only 45 short of the club record – with captain James Foster in that match and was eventually out for 174 from 290 balls – an innings that included 22 fours and two sixes.
But for an untimely injury, of course, it is unlikely that he would have been able to play those two delightful innings, as he was odds-on to have taken England’s number six spot in their three-match series against West Indies. However, fate stepped in and, while his replacement Jonny Bairstow struggled against Kemar Roach and co, Bopara, now 27 years of age, ensured that his name will be in the selectors’ thoughts when it comes to selecting the squad for the first Test against South Africa next month.
Other contenders for this week’s award were Luke Wells, who hit 127 in Sussex’s first innings to set up a ten-wicket victory over Surrey; Chris Rogers, whose 173 from only 191 balls led Middlesex’s ultimately fruitless victory charge against Somerset; Eoin Morgan, who blazed 116 from only 54 balls in Middlesex’s Clydesdale Bank 40 triumph over Lancashire; and Tim Groenewald, who ended with five for 29 in Derbyshire’s dismantling of Leicestershire’s batting line-up at Grace Road.
© Cricket World 2012
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